Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is tasked with bringing to life a massive scale of dinosaurs, and a brand new behind-the-scenes featurette breaks down just how the filmmakers managed to pull it off.
The entire Jurassic series, spanning all the way back to 1993 with Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, has increasingly improved on the design of dinosaurs. Between the balanced used of practical effects and CGI, the franchise has managed to breathe believable life into creatures that have been long extinct, like triceratops and velociraptors, but also hybrid monstrosities like the Indominus Rex in Jurassic World and Fallen Kingdom's mysterious Indoraptor. Fallen Kingdom's creature effects supervisor Neal Scanlon, as well as other members of the cast and crew, explain some of the steps necessary in making the dinosaurs come to life in a new video.
In an exclusive featurette from Fandango (above), Neal Scanlon shares the inspiration for the look and feel of the dinosaurs in Fallen Kingdom, explaining that one of the sole missions was to make the creatures feel grounded. In the past four movies (save for the final act of The Lost World: Jurassic Park), the dinosaurs are located in a setting in which they are familiar, such as islands shrouded in wildlife. In Fallen Kingdom, the dinosaurs are removed from that familiar setting, creating new challenges for the filmmakers.
In making the dinosaurs feel more "grounded" in the movie, the production team took inspiration from real world elements, treating them less like fantastical creatures and more like animals that might exist in real life. In fact, the movie's veterinary advisor, Jonathan Cranston, added that the physical and emotional pain conveyed by the dinosaurs in this movie is as paramount in creating believability as their actual physical designs are.
Another member of the crew aiding in the realism of the dinosaurs is animation supervisor Glen McIntosh. He explained that there are several departments on the movie coming together to make the dinosaurs "come alive." In fact, that very concept of realism adds to the overall theme of Fallen Kingdom: the moral dilemma between taking on the responsibility of protecting dinosaurs and allowing them to die off. Bryce Dallas Howard's character, Claire Dearing, returns in this movie as a born-again dinosaur conservationist whose priority is protecting the dinosaurs, especially considering that humans were the ones who brought them back to life in the first place.
Apart from significantly changing locations, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will stand apart from previous entries in the franchise in other unique ways as well. Director J.A. Bayona (whose filmography covers a wide range of genres, including The Orphanage and The Impossible) and co-writer/executive producer Colin Trevorrow are exploring much darker, gothic elements in the movie. They'll also be incorporating more personality into the dinosaurs, exploring an angle that makes it easier for characters, as well as viewers, to empathize with them.
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) release date: Jun 22, 2018
- Jurassic World 3 (2021) release date: Jun 11, 2021